A medium-sized company was facing strong order growth, which needed to be supported by properly skilled staff.
The HR director had built up a network of head-hunters with expertise in many different sectors.
As far as engineers and project managers were concerned, he used a company he had known for years, the Italian branch of a highly successful international company led by a manager with whom he had built an excellent professional relationship.
When the need for personnel for overseas subsidiaries became high, the search firm that had been so successful in the past suddenly and strangely became ineffective: it failed more than half of the assignments.
Now, you should know that the HR director had a particular personality: he was reluctant to give feedback to suppliers unless it was specifically requested.
Providing negative feedback annoyed him; the mere thought of explaining why he was disappointed and hearing justifications made him cringe.
It so happens that, fed up with continuous failures, he decided to take the bull by the horns and look for two consulting firms to replace the historical one: and the results were encouraging, because he was able to cope with all the needs without too much effort.
One day, about six months after the tap was turned off, the torpedoed company manager woke up and asked for an appointment with the HR director to find out what was going on.
The tenor of the conversation was frank and cordial; the content was the one you see in the cartoon strip.
The personnel manager explained clearly that a good professional relationship does not necessarily mean a guaranteed turnover, and that for him, the most important thing was to reach his objectives.
The head-hunter then proposed to change the staff that had been assigned to him, intending to improve the service level: it took them over a year to get back to their lost positions, without ever fully recovering them.
What can we learn from this absolutely authentic story?
What do you think?